DIY BEAUTY RECOMMENDATIONS
This brand of coconut oil is my go to! I've made an acne clearing face wash, a peppermint foot scrub and a nontoxic sunscreen with it. Coconut oil is great for DIY beauty products (and you know exactly what's in them, unlike over the counter brands)!
An alcohol-free witch hazel is another DIY beauty product staple and that one is, hands down, the best brand I've found. It's used in my acne clearing and brightening skin toner and my DIY bug spray that's deet free but every bit as effective as a store brought brand.
Of course if you're going to make any of my DIY beauty products, you need containers. These glass jars are what I use for anything involving coconut oil, and these glass bottles are great for all the liquids.
FOOD & COOKING STAPLES
Crock Pots can be a lifesaver for busy people. I recently upgraded to this model and I only wish I had done it sooner! The timer function is fantastic and the lid will seal tight so if you need to carry your dish somewhere, it won't spill. Genius. Wondering what to make? Try making your own condensed "cream of" soup so you don't need to buy it at the store, or this healthy veggie lentil stew.
It took me 32 years to discover how awesome parchment paper is, and what a time saver it is in the kitchen. Do yourself a solid and get some now. It made cleaning up after this turkey and quinoa meatloaf a breeze.
If you're into DIYs or any sort of crafting, Mod Podge needs to be in your home. This stuff is like a "jack of all trades" in the crafting world. Glue, sealer, finisher... It's good for all of it!
These sponges are the best I've found to apply the Mod Podge, and these brushes are what I use for anything that needs a paint job, like this fall fire place hearth decor idea that's perfect for you and the kiddos.
A good pair of yoga pants is ESSENTIAL. Can you get them at Target and discount stores? Sure, but they're crap. I was so skeptical of expensive yoga wear and then a boyfriend bought me a pair of nice yoga pants, and I was sold. In fact, I still have those yoga pants, a full eight years later. If you invest in your yoga clothes, not only will you be more comfortable, but you'll have them forever! These are the perfect length yoga pants, and are high wasited to keep everything tucked in. I wear these pants DAILY! The only thing I can promise you is that you will not regret getting yourself a pair.
A good yoga mat is also necessary. Cheap mats fall apart easily, are slippery, and don't offer the right amount of padding. This yoga mat is well made, a good thickness and provides grip even when I sweat bucket loads in a 95 degree class.
I diffuse essential oils daily. Making my own beauty and household DIYs, as seen above and diffusing them are the two main ways I incorporate them into my daily life. I'm a HUGE proponent of buying QUALITY essential oils (not the ones you can get on Amazon or at a grocery store - please don't buy those, they're full of fillers) and am a Young Living distrubutor, but honestly, you don't need their fancy (read: expensive) diffusers. This one is pretty and works great! I keep it in my boys' nursery so they can get the benefits of oils, too.
Here's the back story of me and essential oils:
I became interested in essential oils in the spring of 2014, after my first son was born. I wanted new ways to promote our wellness, and alternative ways to help us when we did (and do!) get various ailments.
I knew about Young Living, but thought I had so "sign up" to be a member, and didn't want any commitments to essential oils when I wasn't sure if they worked. So I bought store brands at a health food store - I started with lavender, lemon, frankincense, and peppermint. I used the frankincense in my face and tummy (to promote healthy skin) and made various blends with the lavender, lemon, and peppermint.
When I became pregnant with my second son, I had terrible morning sickness. I asked several of my "oily" friends if they had any recommendations for ways to treat it, and mentioned that I had already tried lemon and peppermint. A friend asked what brand I was using and I told her I bought it off the shelf at a health food store. She rolled her eyes at me and gave me a few Young Living samples.
The difference in quality in the essential oils is immediate. Young Living are more potent because they only extracts oils from the plant once, whereas other brands use them several times, then blend the various purities together to make batches of oils. Think about the difference between extra virgin brand name olive oil and basic, generic olive oil. Have you done a back to back taste test of that?! The difference is unbelievable! Same principle applies between Young Living essential oils and other brands.
Now that I was aware of the quality difference, I still wasn't sure about this whole "becoming a member" thing. Every time I went to the Young Living website it wanted so much information from me, I thought for sure I was signing up for something I didn't want! Luckily, I was invited to a Young Living essential oil party and was able to learn more about the company and how they work:
- Don't want to commit to buying oils? Just want to give a few a try to see if you like them? That was me too, so I totally understand! All you have to do is click here and click here and check the RETAIL CUSTOMER box. Yes, they need an address, credit card info and you'll create a password to protect your information, but you can purchase one oil and never purchase again or you can come back and try a few!
- Already sold on the value essential oils bring to your life? Awesome! Young Living offers WHOLESALE MEMBERSHIPS by clicking here, where you'll get 24% off the retail price of every oil, access to their Essential Rewards program, and special offers throughout the year. To be a wholesale member, there's a $50 per year commitment, meaning you have to buy $50 of product to maintain your membership. When you're a wholesale member, you get THIS:
Trying essential oils was one of the best things I ever did for myself and my family. It's given us a new, nontoxic way to promote our health and wellness. They're made me more aware of my surroundings and how I live my life. And the products specific to Young Living have changed my life for the better!